The Virginia Creeper Trail was pretty cool!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    The Virginia Creeper Trail was pretty cool!

    OK, I know this is hardly mountain biking, but my wife and I did the Virginia Creeper trail and we loved it.

    For those who don't know about it, it is a rail-to-trails trail that goes from Whitetop to Abingdon and is about 34 miles. Damascus is about midway. From Whitetop to Damascus is 17 miles, all downhill (about 2,000 feet). You could take your grandmother an a kid who learned to ride last week down this (I saw countless examples of both). You can just coast 90% way (minimal pressure on the pedals in high gear takes care of the other 10%), but it is never steep (old railroad bed), and smooth. It is incredibly beautiful, with lots of bridges over creeks and streams. You can leave the bike shorts and camelback at home for this one, pack a picnic and some wine and just chill out and enjoy the ride, stopping wherever you want to check things out. Next time we are packing wine.

    From Damascus to Abingdon was flat for about 7 miles and then climbs very slightly the last 8. Most people go from Whitetop to Damascus, and there are a bunch of outfits that run shuttles and rent bikes. It was nice to do the second half to at least get some exercise.

    Sitting by the trial side people watching was entertaining. There were many hundreds of people riding the Whitetop-Damascus section yesterday. Every age and walk of life imaginable, mostly poeple who only pull the bike out once a year. The biggest kick I got was the few "serious" looking riders who looked so ridiculously out of place on what is surely the biking equivalent of the worlds longest bunny-slope..

    The fall colors were beautiful. It was in the mid 40's when we started which is pretty cold when you are moving and not exerting any energy to warm up. We saw many people stopping along the way with thermoses, and I was thinking how perfect Irish coffee would have been. By the time we were done it was in the mid 60's.

    Anyway, if you are looking for a very laid back ride that anyone can do, this is really nice. Just don't be in a rush.

  2. #2
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    Good thinking doing the Abingdon side as this is peak season for Creeper riders. Even though its not in the woods, the Abingdon-Alvarado end has its own good points. My wife & I rode a section of the Greenbriar River trail last weekend and loved it. Saw maybe 10 people in 24 miles on an October Sat. Not many trestles but it did have a tunnel, pretty cool.
    (As always, when Damascus is mentioned I feel obligated to mention the miles of singletrack within easy striking distance, some of which can be hit from the Creeper)

  3. #3
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    Good thinking doing the Abingdon side as this is peak season for Creeper riders. Even though its not in the woods, the Abingdon-Alvarado end has its own good points. My wife & I rode a section of the Greenbriar River trail last weekend and loved it. Saw maybe 10 people in 24 miles on an October Sat. Not many trestles but it did have a tunnel, pretty cool.
    (As always, when Damascus is mentioned I feel obligated to mention the miles of singletrack within easy striking distance, some of which can be hit from the Creeper)
    Alvarado Station to Abingdon was very nice in a different way from Whitetop to Damascus, and I am glad we did it. The only part of the whole trail that was kind of dull was between downtown Damascus and Alvarado Station.

  4. #4
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Still haven't ridden the Creeper yet. Its on the list, but I'm not sure about riding in the crowds. Sounds like the Roanoke River Greenway at rush hour. Casey - when is the best time to ride there?

  5. #5
    dirt rider
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    May have to pick a weekday and head on down there sometime before it gets too cold. I really think the wife would love it. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. #6
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    Creeper

    Hey guys,

    I travel down there from Roanoke on business and I usually ride the trail on weekdays and usually see very few people, most of the crowds are within a few miles of the Abingdon trailhead. Sometimes I get up early and take the shuttle to Whitetop and cruise down the mountain. I think it is seventeen miles downhill. You have much longer sightlines than our Roanoke River greenway and on weekdays it is not so crowded. Plus you can hit the singletrack.
    Give it a look.

    Jim

  7. #7

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    I have been curious about this trail, sounds like a good place to chill with the wife. Is it all paved? Is it doable on a road bike? Or is a fatter tire needed for gravel, ect..., like a MTB or a hybrid tire.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by evil genius
    I have been curious about this trail, sounds like a good place to chill with the wife. Is it all paved? Is it doable on a road bike? Or is a fatter tire needed for gravel, ect..., like a MTB or a hybrid tire.
    I think you could do it on a road bike, but you would want some bigger tires with some tread. It is not paved. It is mostly packed crushed cinder. I would describe it as a very smooth dirt road, though the first few miles coming from Whitetop os a bit bumpy. MTB or hybrid would be best. Something with a relaxed upright position makes for the most comfortable ride. Look it up on the net, you can rant super cush cruzer bikes, which is probably the best way to go if you are doing Whitetop to Damascus.

  9. #9
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    A couple friends and I plan to visit the Virgina Creeper this spring. We'll be coming from Rock Hill, SC and would probably spend two days.

    I would like to get some suggestions on organizing the trip with riding itinerary and lodging.

    Would the creeper take up day 1 or is there other nearby trails to ride the same day?
    Day two? Nothing overly strenuous but maybe a little more difficult than the creeper trail.

    I guess we haul the bikes to point A (where would that be) and then get a shuttle to the top and ride back the point A.

    Where would you recommend for lodging?

    Thanks,

    Jim

  10. #10
    i ride a bicycle
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    Hey Jim
    Try This site: www.bikeguy.net

    good site/information & links for the area

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